Road Traffic Accident: What A Motorist Must Do After An Accident

First Things First

In the event of a road accident, there are a number of things that must be done, preferable in sequence, beginning with the first 4 items below.

The primary concern should be for identifying the injured and not the legal aspect. Even the law affirms that human life is the primary concern.

Regarding the sequence provided, the rest can be rearranged but for the safety of all concerned, the sequence of the first 4 items must be followed strictly.

Call for Assistance

To ensure the timely arrival of the authorities, it is advisable for motorists to put on their speed dial the emergency services hotline in their area.

It is best to do this concurrently with checking the persons involved in the accident.

Depending on the gravity of the situation, you may find it necessary to contact the police, emergency and fire rescue. Be sure to provide the specific details from the location, the number of people injured, extent of injury and presence of fire, or biological hazards.

Check All Persons Involved In the Accident

The next step would be to check on all the persons involved in the accident. Of course the primary focus would be the passengers in your motor vehicle after which you should check on the other parties involved.

Remember the rules of first aid regarding the movement of injured persons. For most cases, unless the person is in imminent and life threatening danger because of their position, they must not be moved.

Set Up Warnings for Other Motorists

It is very important to ensure that other motorists are warned as soon as possible about the accident. This is critical in areas where the other vehicles are moving fast and / or the accident site is relatively hidden and the other motorists may be caught by surprise. This may have dire consequences for those involved so set up your warning devices immediately.

Consider the speed of vehicles when setting up the warning devices. They must be warned well ahead of time and it is better to err on the side of warning too early than warning too late.

Stabilise the Area

Ensure that there are no hazards on scene that could lead to further injury. This would include the spillage of hazardous substances from either the vehicles or their cargo.

Check for fuel and oil leaks and in the presence of such, it may be necessary to move the injured to a safer location. If this is not possible, then the hazard must be neutralized.

Have a fire extinguisher handy for an eventuality.

Survey Accident Scene

After the persons involved are attended to and the area duly marked and stabilized, the next step would be to survey the accident scene.

This is to ensure the proper documentation of the accident later.

Try to reconstruct the events from your vantage point and that of the others involved in the accident.

Take Photographs

It would be most ideal to take as many photographs of the scene as possible, from all possible angles.

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For more information on:

  • Document the Incident
  • The Road Traffic Act Of 1988
  • What is Embodied in the Road Traffic Act Of 1988 and 1991?
  • Legal Obligations under the Road Traffic Act
  • New Claims Process Introduced In 2008
  • Useful Links